Public Employees Strike in Gaza over Unpaid Salaries

MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images
MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images

(AFP) –  Public sector employees in the Gaza Strip went on strike Monday over unpaid salaries, amid a dispute between the two major Palestinian factions.

All government institutions closed their doors in the morning as the union of public employees called for a strike — the second in a month.

The union said the strike is necessary as staff have only received 40 percent of their salaries for five months.

Khalil Hamada, a spokesman for the union, said the strike was “part of protest activities that will continue until the government responds to the rights of the staff in full”.

The two major Palestinian factions, Islamists Hamas and the secular Fatah, signed a reconciliation agreement in October that was supposed to see Hamas hand back control of Gaza a decade after seizing the enclave.

Under the agreement the Fatah-dominated Palestinian government was meant to pay the salaries of tens of thousands of civil servants employed by Hamas until a final solution could be found.

But they have failed to implement the agreement, with the two sides trading blame over responsibility.

Hamas has ruled Gaza since seizing it from Fatah it in a near civil war in 2007, after a dispute over the result of parliamentary elections Hamas won.

 

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